Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Governor Schwarzennegger sells out, for $350k...
ARNOLD TRIP PAID FOR BY DRUG INDUSTRY LOOKING FOR A VETO: Corporations are ponying up about $350,000 to finance Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) trip to the convention, including a lavish party at Planet Hollywood (taxpayers will be footing the bill for his security). Many of the contributions come from large
pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer who are actively lobbying the governor to
veto four bills passed by the state legislature "designed to help Californians buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada."
Monday, August 30, 2004
Even after just a few minutes of watching the Republican convention, it's clear that the lies, misconceptions and shadings of the truth are coming thick and fast. They're working across the entire taxonomy of deception, but there's a big one out there that their entire story hinges on: that Iraq and 9-11 are connected.
Practically everything comes back to this. "Bush is decisive"... because he attacked Iraq. "Bush acted to protect us after 9-11"... because he attacked Iraq. "Bush is a strong leader"... because he attacked Iraq.
The tactic they've used to sell this Big Lie is very clever: Bush has hardly ever come out and said directly that 9-11 and Iraq are connected. Instead, every time he or any of the Republicans mention 9-11, Iraq is the next thing they talk about. They don't have to explicitly make the connection - as long as the linguistic proximity and repetitions are there, people are make the connections themselves. The absence of evidence doesn't matter because as far as our brains are concerned, proximity IS evidence.
To paraphrase Tom Tomorrow, you have to be in awe of their evil genius.
The best way to deprogram this is just to watch for it. Practically every time you hear 9-11, you know Iraq is next. They are in the process of exploiting this tragedy for political gain far more fully and completely than any other event in the history of humanity has ever been exploited. They are going to leave no corner of exploitation untrammeled. I thought the Swift Boat Vets for Bush attacks on Senator Kerry were the most digusting thing I'd ever seen, but this leaves the Swift Vets in the dust.
Orrin Hatch tonight said "we will never forget, and we will never forgive." Never forgive? The equally Christian and humanist principle of forgiveness has been completely abandoned by this party. And the President said (literally!) that we can't win the war on terror.
So the lines are drawn. President Bush and the Republicans have abandoned the fundamental principles of morality, and even so they still don't have a plan to win the war on terror. Kerry hasn't abandoned his principles and he has a plan. Out here in reality, Iraq and 9-11 are separate. We will be able to remind enough voters of that reality to win this thing?
Friday, August 27, 2004
Some really important analysis of how the Swift Vets manipulated the media, from the Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk:
- As radio talk shows and cable shoutfests seized upon the 'story,' the few outlets that initially ignored it or gave it little play were forced to ratchet up their coverage -- a classic example of the elements of the media lower down the professional food chain effectively setting the news agenda.
Monday, August 23, 2004
This is just beautiful - a series of pictures showing a mobbed Dems voter registration table, with tumbleweeds blowing through the Republican zone. I'm glad to see the Republicans out there finally, though! (we've been at this for more than a year now)
So Bob Dole thinks that Senator Kerry "should apologize," and that the hot shrapnel that was embeded in his arm only counts as a "superficial wound." I'm sorry to use a Bill O'Reilly style tactic here, but I think Bob Dole needs to shut up. Senator Kerry should apologize as soon as this country apologizes to the people of Vietnam for what we did to them. It's funny how the argument has been twisted around to focus on Kerry's testimony when he got back, as if the things he said happened there in front of Congress actually didn't happen. John Kerry stood up and spoke truth to power, it's that simple. Why is this particular act of bravery so hard for grumpy conservatives like Bob Dole to accept?
Friday, August 13, 2004
Well, Governor? So Governor Schwarzenegger bravely holds the line on taxes and we get this headline: State Lost Jobs in July, Raising Concerns. Whyzzat? In seven words, because tax cuts don't create jobs. People do. (yes, I'm trying out a new sound bite!)
This is gold: the blog of a campaign vet and his currently undecided Mom, Ohio Countdown 2004. There's lots of great stuff on how the local party and campaigns are doing: "In Ohio, Jerry Springer is the one coming to the rescue...need I say more?" My more or less lifelong (at least, for the duration of my life) Republican parents have already decided (they're for Kerry); otherwise, I'd be tempted to copy this format.
Monday, August 09, 2004
The American Progress Action Fund has neatly and succinctly categorized a selection of The Bush's broken campaign promises.
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Another letter. Another letter I wrote last week was to one Byron York, columnist for the conservative National Review. On Monday or Tuesday I had the pleasure of listening to one of the right wing bloviators (they're starting to blur together - calle them O'Limbannity maybe) going on (and on, and on) about an organization of people who had served with Senator Kerry and, unlike the nine men who stood up with him before his nomination speech last Thursday, were opposed to his run for the presidency. Sounded like hot stuff to me (if it was true), so I tracked the group down on the web and checked it out. It's a group called "Swift Boat Veterans for 'Truth'."
Turns out there's a reason the So Called Liberal Media hasn't been covering it: these guys have nothing on Kerry. For an example, check out this "analysis" of Kerry's service records, and then (if you're patient - it's kind of a long download) check out this .pdf compilation of Kerry's record that the campaign released. If you're not patient, I'll ruin the suprise for you: they're terrific. The "faint praise" argument that Swift Vets for Truth tries to make looks utterly ridiculous.
It's really quite amazing that this is the level they've stooped to. But it doesn't end there. While looking for a little thoughtful reaction to the convention from the other side, I came across this piece, from an otherwise (more or less) reputable right-wing publication that again attacks Kerrry on this issue...
Dear Mr. York,
I just read your piece, the latest in a string of attacks I've come across on Senator Kerry's record in the service. There are two reasons why you may want to consider a different line of attack on this candidate.
First, there's no there there. I've noticed this story has gotten almost zero play outside of talk radio and the partisan press. Since it seems like pretty hot stuff, I wondered why this was and I looked into it. Earlier this week I went through the arguments presented by the latest organizational incarnation that John O'Neill is using to prosecute his long standing vendetta against Sen. Kerry, and then compared it to the service records posted on johnkerry.com. It was an interesting exercise. It only took a few minutes of scrolling through the PDF of his records to see what hogwash the argument presented on swiftvets.com is.
Second, even if there was any substance whatsoever here, I may be new to politics but I can just about guarantee this is one tactic that ain't going to play in Peoria. There may be a fine line between "attack" and "differentiation," but this rather unseemly set of arguments isn't anywhere near the gray area ballpark. It has more than a whiff of desparation to it.
As far as the "veracity" of the movie goes, no one ever claimed it was footage of the actual event and since it's quite obviously impossible that it could've been, it's hard to imagine how anyone would've even thought of such a thing. Put another way, that is one seriously lightweight straw man.
One of the talking points from the right this week was that Kerry and Edwards are these big, big liberals. I suspect that might just be name calling, which seemed to work fine in 1988 but hasn't worked out that particularly well in any cycle since then.
If it is more than just name calling, though, this should give you plenty of ideological territory to go after them on. Perhaps this direction, or any direction really, might be a more fruitful direction to take the conversation in.